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Cost and Outcome Advantages from the use of MassWall

MassWall is a construction system using specially designed concrete blocks in the style of a ‘Lego’ set to build structural walls. The concept purchased from Germany by Boral is planned to be used Australia wide.

Solar E

Working with this concept, Solar E has produced an experimental MassWall as a dividing wall in Solar E’s factory in Bayswater to integrate research in solar air-conditioning. The thermal MassWall is slotted together by the concrete blocks and then concrete is poured/pumped into it and reinforcing rods are pushed through it to create a very stable, solid concrete wall. The wall starts with mortar free concrete blocks that slot together allowing a wall to be built very fast with minimal labour.

The trials are very encouraging and the concept is being considered for building housing projects such as the Swanbourne Village Trust. When Solar E examined the concept, it seemed to fit in very nicely with its own solar air-conditioning concepts where you can integrate the wall into the air conditioning and the air conditioning into the wall. While the wall is being built, it allows the flexibility of locating the spots where the air-conditioning can be located.

Meeting to discuss the concept of MassWall at Solar E’s factory in Bayswater. At the presentation was Sam Paolino and Garry Baverstock with Alf D’Angelo from Boral. A dividing wall was built to test the concept of MassWall at Solar E’s Bayswater factory. Discussing the wall construction were Alf D’Angello with Garry Baverstock seen through the window.

Meeting to discuss the concept of MassWall at Solar E’s factory in Bayswater. At the presentation was Sam Paolino and Garry Baverstock with Alf D’Angelo from Boral. A dividing wall was built to test the concept of MassWall at Solar E’s Bayswater factory. Discussing the wall construction were Alf D’Angello with Garry Baverstock seen through the window.

Together with another innovation that Boral are developing of thin brick, it will create a cavity wall and partition that form the dividing walls of a room. The two together will form a ‘MassWall’. This configuration will become Solar E’s intellectual property and used in passive solar energy efficient buildings. It will provide a flexible wall system inside a building where a hole can easily be put into it and make structural changes down the track without the structure being compromised or falling down. MassWall provides construction flexibility of the thermal mass for the heating/cooling boosting system.

Most work is still done by passive solar but instead of having a temperature of around 18 degrees in Winter; it can go to 24 degrees and an average of 28 degrees in Summer can go to a comfortable 24 degrees; all operated on photo voltaic PV cells.

MassWall is a registered name by Solar E and fits in well with its own MassLink for its air conditioning products.

Photo Credits: Nick Melidonis, www.nickmelidonis.com

 

Baverstock to Speak at World Renewable Energy Congress 2017

The World Renewable Energy Congress 2017 (WREC) will be held at Murdoch University on Feb 5-9th 2017. It will be sharing ideas and presenting the latest research findings and discussions on new renewable energy science and technology. WREC will bring together representatives of those involved in the supply, distribution, consumption and development of sustainable energy sources. It will also enable policy makers, researchers, manufacturers, economists, financiers, sociologists, environmentalists and others to present their views in plenary and technical sessions and to participate in formal and informal discussions.

Garry Baverstock AM representing ‘Innovate Australia’ is an invited speaker and the title of his talk is “The Role of Thermal Storage as a Precursor to Battery Storage”. Garry’s talk is based on the use of thermal inertia in buildings and systems using water and using the heavy weight materials in buildings as a natural thermal energy storage mechanism. Garry states that in Western Australia, the cost per kWh for batteries is 2 – 3 times or more than the off peak rate charged at present. He poses the question, “What if energy storage cost nothing?”. He goes on to say “By using thermal energy in buildings and in hot water tanks at night PV power collected in daylight hours can be used over 24 hours.

Garry Baverstock social Media July

Garry Baverstock AM will be an Invited Speaker at the World Renewable Energy Congress

One can think of the grid like a large storage system but there are emissions associated with it as well as the cost of generation. Thermal inertia of buildings is not just for passive storage. It can also be used to store PV driven heat pumped or resistance generated thermal energy. Similarly, “the excellent thermal inertia properties of water can be used”.

Solar E

Garry’s company, Solar E’s recent PV innovations, utilise thermal energy storage. The economics of limiting battery storage to the operation of general power and lights at night will have large consumer benefits and to the environment. He concludes by saying, “There are many other ways in which ‘mass-linking’ can occur. It just needs some lateral thinking, good engineering and a spirit of innovation”.

For nearly 20 years Solar E has been providing innovation ideas and recommended paradigm shifts in the design and use of thermal energy, especially in hot water systems and air conditioning while providing opportunities and projects for scientists and sustainable energy students at Curtin University to obtain Masters and Doctorate degrees. Baverstock and colleagues’ PV innovations in WA utilise thermal energy storage. Garry feels the economics of limiting battery storage to the operation of general power and lights at night will have large consumer benefits and to the environment and as such, his talk at WREC will be a welcome addition to the invited experts who will speak on the future of sustainable energy sources.

Photo Credits: Nick Melidonis, www.nickmelidonis.com

Josh Byrne to Bring Strength to Wise Earth Board

Wise Earth owns and manages Solar E. and its corresponding website. Apart from being involved in the advancement of innovative solar technology and integrated construction systems, Wise Earth is looking to enhance its expertise by inviting high profile, experienced people to its Board, including its most recent appointment in Josh Byrne.

Josh Byrne

Josh is an environmental scientist best known for his role as the WA presenter on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia program where over the past 13 years he has demonstrated practical ways to create productive and water efficient gardens to a national audience. He is Director of Josh Byrne & Associates, a Fremantle based multi-award winning consulting practice integrating the fields of landscape architecture, built environment sustainability, media and communications, and a Research Fellow with Curtin University’s Sustainability Policy Institute (CUSP), where his research and teaching interests span high performance housing, water sensitive design and low carbon residential precincts. Josh is a recipient of the Australian Water Association’s Water Professional of the Year Award for WA and Murdoch University Distinguished Alumni for Science and Engineering. He is Patron for a number community based environment and sustainability organisations including the Conservation Council of WA.

Josh Byrne outside his office at Fremantle Chamber of Commerce

Josh Byrne outside his office at Fremantle Chamber of Commerce

Fremantle Housing Trust

Josh and Wise Earth are planning to develop sustainable housing projects in the Fremantle area with land owners and other participants forming the Fremantle Housing Trust. The Trust will develop communities of between 4-8 houses in key locations incorporating existing land owners where desirable; in creating affordable solutions to low energy sustainable developments. Wise Earth, together with Josh, see this as an important demonstration opportunity that will not only explore a new community-led residential development model, but also utilise Wise Earth construction systems and solar technologies in addition to established principles solar passive design and sustainable landscaping.

Wise Earth’s Board

Wise Earth’s Board has also been strengthened with further directors bringing with them their wisdom and expertise including Tony Fitzgerald; ex MD of Orbital Engineering; Ray Glickman, former CEO of Fremantle and 15 years as CEO of Amana Living and Steve Gava from NKH Accounting firm. Together with these highly experienced business and community leaders, Josh adds his youth and expertise to balance a very impressive Board overseeing the development and construction of innovative solar energy systems for high performance housing.

A Vision for the Murdoch University School of Engineering

Research for Solar Hot Water Systems

In our last article, we touched on the valuable contribution of Solar E to the research carried out at Murdoch University in the School of Engineering. Garry Baverstock holds the position of Adjunct Professor at the School and has held discussions with the School’s Head regarding creating a niche market on research for solar hot water systems and new generation solar air conditioners. This is an area where other main stream Universities are not focusing, any resources at present.

Solar E, Murdoch Initiatives

Solar E, Murdoch Initiatives

An outcome that will arise in this current work at Murdoch University will be to collaborate with some of the bigger University’s Schools of Engineering and expand research into more viable products. This could be a catalyst for some undergraduate studies being set up at Murdoch, particularly in building services engineering with the possibility of setting up a small School of Mechanical Engineering that will focus on and advance practical solutions in solar systems and air conditioners.

Solar Water Heaters

The next three years will see Wise Earth writing papers on the effectiveness and efficiency of mainstream solar water heaters; their real economics and how much greenhouse gases they actually save. Wise Earth has donated its data base from Solar Kleen, a business it ran for a couple of years. This real data together with generic data from the Clean Energy Council will apply Monte Carlo Analysis; a technique using distribution curves that can infer and project results using limited data; that can be used for further research on solar water heating and energy.

Masters of Building Services Engineering

Murdoch University has a long history of Photo Voltaic research which is on-going and this is working towards the creation of a Masters of Building Services Engineering. With Garry being an adjunct Professor and also in the business in this field with Wise Earth; specific projects can be generated for the Masters and PhD studies and encourage other Universities to do the same.

Photo Credits: Nick Melidonis, www.nickmelidonis.com